I don’t know what it is about Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes but every time she writes one of her first-name creations, I make it my personal quest to seek out a certain someone by that name. I did it with Daniel and I did it with Sarah. It was like an infectious voice at the back of my head whispering, ‘Your life is meaningless until you can find someone called Daniel.’ I searched high and low for the someone with a “flame in [his] heart,” carrying with me my valiant fire extinguisher incase things became to heated. First plan of action was to scour the stalker-friendly world of Facebook, scanning for friends of friends called Daniel, unfortunately to no avail. I was not defeated, as god as my witness I was going to find me a Daniel.
It wasn’t just Bat’s Daniel that had stirred my soul. I had long been obsessed in the name Daniel after watching Rex Harrison’s, sea captain in The Ghost and Mrs Muir – his weathered countenance, his foul language and his blasted turtleneck, had fired a thirteen year olds loins, sparking an obsession in sea men that would last for years.
Bat For Lashes has done it again with her new single Laura from her upcoming album The Haunted Man, due to be released 15/10/2012. I fell in love with Natasha’s, Laura – a ghost of parties past, a shadow suspended, a creature of fleeting lusts, the femme-fatale of the dancehall and put so poetically grim by Miss Khan as the ‘tattoo on every boys skin.’
I picture Laura as a youthful reincarnate of Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard) or perhaps a Norma just before her descent into madness or even a Lynchian Laura Palmer. This pleading lament from Khan, trying to awaken the undead Laura, who floats in close-up through the halls of smoke and mirrors, hits all the right melancholic notes.
I never did find an adequate Daniel nor an adequate Sarah but I must once more take up the sword of obsession, for I have been called to duty and my fair (well not so fair) Laura awaits.
Have a listen and weep:
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